Another Never-ending card

I made my granddaughter an ‘Never-ending card’ for her birthday.

I tried a different way to arrange things than I had with my Easter card and an earlier birthday card.

The birthday card was the first one I made and I kept it simple with coloured edges a bit of writing and lots of stickers. The Easter card was designed and printed on my computer, so I could make several. Both of these cards had four different views to cycle through.

This time as I was only making one copy I decided to try colouring it by hand! Now I am not very good at drawing or colouring: my hand-eye co-ordination and muscle control is just not up to it. However I tried to do my very best and produced a card with eight different views as you can see below.

The outer part of the flames is actually yellow highlighter pen but there is no accounting for what cameras do to colours sometimes! You can see that I did add a few stickers that I had left from the earlier birthday card, more later!

when you open this out you get – Opening the card horizontally shows – Opening this sideways reveals the fourth and final view of this sequence. This is where I wrote the greeting in the four segments of the central button.

Opening this horizontally you get back to the original ‘Happy’ side.

However if you turn the card over and turn through 90 degrees, you see this  which opens onto this – Maybe you saw that coming?

Followed by – And another button – Again, another ‘opening’ brings you back to the ‘BIRTHDAY’ side.

Along the way I also found a version that uses eight pieces of card instead of four and gives four sides which are always square. I saved the template and may give it a try sometime.



A Birthday doll


I think I have probably spent most of my time this last month working on this project and with time ‘of the essence’, as they say, I have had to give up being a perfectionist and just do the best I could in the time.

Originally I had just wanted to buy a boy (not baby) doll and make clothes for it. But not finding anything suitable in the shops, I resorted to making the doll myself.

Previously I have only made knitted dolls with integral clothes and I had no pattern, nor could I find one easily on the internet, so I decided to work up my own pattern. In the end I got quite ambitious.

I used these patterns that I had in my store to help with approximate number of stitches and shaping


but I had to modify all of them to get what I wanted.

I also found this chart on-line


which I used to give me an idea of the correct proportions for a three year old.

So you start with a naked boy doll.


Yes! I know he is two-tone. This is because I had a limited quantity of flesh coloured yarn, and plenty of the cream. So I decided to keep the flesh colour for the head and hands (& arms) which would show most. The cream is actually very poor quality in my opinion but I didn’t really realise that till later.

I decided to give him thumbs


and  stitched rows of small stitches to indicate fingers


and toes.


I am sure most of you could do a lot better with the stitching, which is a weak point of mine, but I wasn’t being a perfectionist; was I?

I decided not to try and make his legs and arms bend but as you can see I did indicate wrists and ankles.

I also gave him ears and nose as well as the essential eyes and mouth.


No! he’s not very pretty but then he doesn’t look girly either.

To finish: a modified version of Jean Greenhowe’s hair. The most important modification was wrapping the stitches when I turned mid row. That got rid of the holes. Yay!


So now he needs clothes.

Some underwear.


That’s better!


And a blue jumper and red trousers will be cheerful.


Let’s put them on!


And what about when he goes out?

He needs a coat and hat and shoes.


That’s cosy!


And to finish: a blanket for nap-time.


Most of the doll and his clothes were knitted but, as well as crochetting a blanket, I did use crochet for the irises of his eyes


and the red angry bird hat and blue and white trainers.


The patterns for these were modified versions of ones I found for free on-line.

Here are a couple of extras that I decided to include in the present.


My first version of the vest/T-shirt made in cotton, later embelished with a crochet edging and my first try at a pair of pants which are on the small side and with a folded over waistband that is maybe a bit too thick.

Well they will do as spares!

I wanted a doll that not only could be companion and object of nurturing (maybe) but would also have buttons and laces to give an opportunity to practise the necessary skills needed to cope with such things.

Both my grandsons are very fond of  ‘angy birds’ and have red angry bird hats so I had to give the doll one. Hope my grandson likes it.



Rainbow coasters

I couldn’t show you these before as I made them as a little something for part of my daughter’s birthday present.


People seemed to like the idea of rainbow coasters when I showed you the ones I made in June but they only had five rows.


So I decided to make some coasters about the same size but with exactly seven rows. I had intended to give my daughter rainbow coasters for her last birthday but hadn’t got round to it so this killed two birds with one stone as it were.

I decided it would be fun to do the colours in standard rainbow order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, both from edge to inside and from inside to edge.

Here is a close-up of the first one


and the other


I think they are really jolly and my daughter likes them so that is good.

Which colourway do you prefer?

A Birthday Outing

Another post so soon! Yes but I thought I would share our Sunday outing with you.

Sunday was my daughter’s birthday and I was picked up after church and we all went down to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. We being myself, my daughter, her husband, their daughter and a friend who is at present lodging with them.

We started at the Mary Rose museum where we took a picture of the lodger: James in the stocks!

And here is the birthday girl with a well known king.

And here is a little (or maybe medium sized) princess.

We weren’t able to see the Mary Rose itself but later we did get to see the place that they’ve built to house it.  I saw a very interesting programme on television about it a little while ago.

We decided to head over to Gun Wharf Quays for lunch, passing HMS Warrior on the way.

When we got there, I photographed the Spinnaker tower though I have been here before.

We found a restaurant my daughter likes called Wagamama, the cuisine looks to Japan apparently.

My daughter and I had something whose name I can’t remember but it looked like this:

and it was really delicious. (James was amused by the way I twirled the noodles round my chopsticks. 🙂 )

And there were a couple of side dishes to share as well

After lunch we all headed back to the Historic dockyard.

and this time we went to see the

I have been before a long time ago so the ship did look strange with topmasts and rigging missing.

We had to bend low to go inside.

I won’t bore you with all the pictures I took inside but this looked rather splendid.

And a little girl asked me to photograph her next to one of the ship’s guns.

The tables are hanging from the ceiling – amazing.

Then it was time to go home. As we walked back the Warrior was still there.

One day had not been long enough to see everything but the tickets will still be valid in a fortnight so we are coming back on Saturday week to see HMS Warrior and the Submarine museum.


On their way back to Aylesbury everyone came back to my house and had cake. They really enjoyed the Battenburg of my last post and of course I gave my daughter the rest to take home. But I do still have some of the off-cuts (well I had to taste it when it came out of the oven to check it was alright!) and the marzipan, which I can have with a cup of tea later today.

So what was I doing this afternoon?

Well it’s my daughter’s birthday tomorrow and although she doesn’t know it she is coming down with her family to see the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth and I have been invited to go with them and then they are coming back here for tea. Her husband has made her a Battenburg for tea just like he did for my birthday but before I knew that, when I offered to make a cake, he said maybe we should both make cakes.

Now I love Battenburg because I love almonds and especially marzipan but I never made them myself when my children were small because I didn’t have a suitable tin but a few years ago I decided to lash out and buy a special tin.

And I have made a couple since.

I might have made more but I couldn’t find cohineal for sale and I have tried ‘pink’ and ‘red’ food colouring but all they produce is a sort of orangey brown cake which just isn’t the same.

When I was speaking to my son-in-law on Thursday he told me that I needed Silver Spoon ‘pink’ colouring and you could only buy it one place but he couldn’t remember where. Luckily a quick hunt on the internet revealed it was available at Sainsbury’s which is somewhere I shop so I got some.

And made a cake.

Here it is all ready to go in the tin.

I made the marzipan myself. First time I have used the whisk the egg and sugar over hot water for twelve minutes method, so I was a little apprehensive, but it worked out fine and I added a little extra ground almonds till it was firm enough.

And a have a little left which of course I will have to eat up.

Yum! 🙂

And of course a Battenburg doesn’t look right with the cooked ends showing so I had to cut them off and eat them up with a cup of tea. Just to check it tasted alright of course.

A Pig, a Pattern and a Party

I decided last Wednesday that as I would be seeing my granddaughter on my birthday, I ought to take a little gift and decided to crochet her a small animal and a pig looked easiest.

I had a couple of patterns but I was afraid they would be too big and so after getting a couple of pointers from them about shaping the snout, I sat down with some yarn and a hook to work up my own pattern.

And Lo! a Pocket Pig

The pattern is HERE

I wasn’t sure how she felt about pigs but luckily she loved him.

Saturday was my birthday. I hadn’t intended to show you my presents but they were so typical of each giver that I thought I would

My younger daughter, who wasn’t able to be part of the Party because her husband is still unwell, gave me a cotton bag with a picture of a duck – she verges on being a vegetarian and loves animals and knowing the meal was to be duck I think this was her comment on the matter. She doesn’t like jigsaws, but her husband does and she knows I love them, so I also got a jigsaw – no picture – so I won’t know what it is till I finish it! Since I took the photo I have however put the white pieces together and I think it might be a duck too with it’s head under the water.

My son likes techie presents so he got me a black Wii wheel as he felt that with a black remote a white wheel looked wrong. He went to all the trouble of ordering it from the States as you can’t buy them in the UK at present. He also got me a nun-chuck, as I have two remotes but only one nun-chuck. He made the card himself, the picture having been originally created on his Nintendo 3DS.

My older daughter bought me some unusual chocolate and special herb tea but mainly two pairs of rosewood knitting needles and five balls of Sirdar big softie super chunky yarn as with my blog she thought I ought to have something knitting related.

For the curious this enlarges so you can get a closer look

I have never knitted with yarn this thick so I will need to find a pattern.

Now to the Party

My older daughter has lived in Aylesbury for about the last ten years and of course every time I tell someone that she lives in Aylesbury they always reply “Where the ducks come from!” (UK joke). The ducks for sale in the supermarket however are not Aylesbury ducks  but a Chinese breed, I believe, so I rather hankered after one day tasting a real Aylesbury duck as they were reputed to be rather fine.

Having watched a TV programme that reported on a current breeder of Aylesbury ducks and the fact that there were several restaurants that served them. I suggested to my daughter that we should get together a family party and have some Aylesbury duck in Aylesbury on my forthcoming birthday.

In the end we decided to go to the King’s Head Hotel in Ivinghoe a few miles from Aylesbury as they had a very good reputation.

We had a wonderful meal and I had a wonderful day.

I just took a few photos when I thought of it, in between enjoying myself, but I think they are good enough to share.

When we first arrived at the King’s Head we had a few drinks and nibbles.

Then we went in to the dining room and a beautifully laid table.

And this balloon, which is now floating in my bedroom (hence photo), floating behind my chair.

I had the fish soup for my first course and it was the most delicious soup I have ever tasted.

They then brought us an apple and calvados sorbet

and after that they brought the ducks and carved them at the table

And here is my plate with accompaniments. The vegetables were on a separate plate.

We each chose something from the dessert trolley to finish the meal.

Lots of choice. Between us we had raspberry pavlova, sherry trifle, huge brandy snap filled with cream, caramel soufflé, lemon tart. I also remember seeing strawberries and a chocolate mousse on the trolley.

None of us had cheese but they had a whole trolley full of different cheeses.

We then went into the garden for coffee.

Here is a family group photo. The zany one is my son. Can you see the pig?

After this we went back to Aylesbury and later had tea and a special cake. The candles are meant to be like that and give away my age if you can read the code.

In my son-in law’s family birthday cakes are always Battenburgs and so that is what he made me.

And just to end up: a little girl with her birthday present from her grandma.